Put concisely, Co.ind’s main mission is to offer its clients (members or not) private label distributor products that are top quality, sustainable and ethical.
This mission sustains a whole series of other factors and elements that contribute to making the Group a synonym of reliability and unquestionable quality. Co.ind is committed to customer satisfaction, both in terms of the constant and durable quality of the products and services provided, and in terms of high food safety standards.
The company is always proactive in offering its customers a constantly updated marketing mix, obtained by monitoring and controlling competitors, suppliers and market trends. The data deriving from these analyses of “external factors” are implemented through increasingly improved management of planning, research and development, of procuring raw materials, of product development, plus management of non-compliance and food safety.
An integral and fundamental part of Co.ind’s mission is ongoing social commitment, in particular focused on the protection of consumers, workers’ rights and the environment.
Co.ind’s quality production processes
There are four factors that today characterise Co.ind’s entire production: certified quality standards, use of advanced technologies, social commitment and environmental sustainability.
The company prioritises the creation of products featuring high and constant standards of quality and food safety, as certified by the best institutions. For example:
- The UNI EN ISO 9001 certificate ensures a rigorous procedure for controlling company processes aimed at satisfying customer requirements. More than 11,000 coffee tests are carried out, starting from the countries of origin, when the coffee is selected.
- Co.ind is certified BRC (British Retail Consortium) Global Standard for Food Safety and IFS (International Food Standard), two standards that evaluate private label food producers – the first for Europe, North America and Australia and the second for Central Europe – checking that their operations respect specified quality standards.
- Fairtrade and UTZ certifications prove that the rights of producers and workers in developing countries are being respected, through stable fair prices and solidarity margins. UTZ develops standards for socially and environmentally responsible agricultural production and supply.
- Co.ind undergoes checks by the CCPB (Consortium for the Control of Organic Products), a body that monitors and inspects companies which market products grown using organic methods.
- Some Co.ind blends have been certified by INEI (Italian National Espresso Institute), which defends quality espresso. Finally, the Safety and Health of Workers is guaranteed and certified by OHSAS 18001:2007 (Occupational Health and Safety Assessment Series).
Co.ind is a technologically advanced company: its entire production process is managed through a sophisticated computerised system, which monitors and scans each operative phase, thus minimising risk.
The main coffee production steps subjected to instant observation and analysis, are:
During each of these phases, the utmost care is taken to guarantee product quality: all the way from the harvest phase, where company experts select the best raw coffee beans, to the final vacuum packaging process, indispensable in protecting the taste and aroma of the coffee.
The harvesting phase selection affects all the production checks that will follow: Co.ind experts select the best raw beans at origin, for the best final cup of coffee.
Further checks are then carried out when the coffee arrives in Italy: samples are laboratory tested to verify their chemical and physical parameters and taste potential. In this way quality is checked and above all, every batch of raw coffee is classified and then sorted by category according to its sensorial characteristics.
The next phase is the roasting process. This requires the greatest care: duration and temperature settings vary, but the coffee beans must always be roasted in a uniform and homogeneous way…each bean evenly toasted, and all beans toasted to the same degree, avoiding burn marks, and optimising the special features of each coffee bean variety.
Grinding is the next step. This is done to prepare for the production of ground coffee, or coffee in pods and capsules, and is performed by hi-tech millstones and rollers. This phase is crucial, given that an incorrect grinding will not allow coffee to express its full range of qualities, and spoiling the taste left on the palate. Co.ind’s grinding process is monitored and analysed with a laser granulometer, to ensure that the grind’s consistency is correctly calibrated for its intended use.
Immediate vacuum packaging is the last step, essential if the taste and aroma of the coffee is to remain intact, to be released only when the package is finally opened. Here, Co.ind takes all the necessary steps to make this possible, and then acts to further benefit its ground blends: the packed coffee is left to rest in storage for at least two weeks, to allow it to reach the right degree of maturity. After this, a panel of experts methodically tastes the coffee. Once its quality has been approved, the coffee is ready for selling.
Co.ind pays particular care of its corporate social role: it undertakes numerous actions to guarantee, among other things, consumer protection, the environment, and coffee plantation workers’ rights to fair and equitable trade.
Its particular sensitivity to environmental issues led to Co.ind, in 2000, receiving the Packaging Oscar from the Italian Institute of Packaging.
Our commitment to the protection of the rights of workers and producers, is underwritten by our various international certifications.
Co.ind is a member of Fairtrade, because it shares Fairtrade’s principles of fair and just trade. These principles allow coffee producers to lead a dignified life, working for a fair and just wage, thus avoiding debt and various forms of exploitation.
In particular, Co.ind undertakes:
- To pay a fair and just price that covers production costs and pays workers a decent salary. “A decent salary” means an income that leaves some amount of margin for saving or reinvesting as well as surviving.
- To be prepared to pre-finance some producer expenditure, to help them avoid becoming indebted to usurers.
- To establish long-term commercial relations, in order to give producers greater certainty about their financial future.
The Co.ind Group, together with Coop and GVC (Civil Volunteer Group) – a non-governmental organization (NGO) founded in Bologna in 1971 – actively participates in the Nicaragua project, aiming to provide producers and growers with the technologies necessary to become more competitive on global markets.
Social commitment is closely connected with another theme close to the heart of the Group, namely environmental sustainability. Co.ind has always been firmly committed to working to reduce the environmental impact of its operations and products.
The reduction of heat consumption and its reuse in the production process, plus the donation of food to charitable organizations, are just two of the initiatives carried out by the company, revealing its sensitivity on this theme, and its determination to favour environmental protection.
In 2017 Co.ind won the “Coop beyond Kyoto” award, a competition involving Coop brand product suppliers, to reward those who over time committed themselves to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, as enshrined in the Kyoto Protocol, through actions to cut energy consumption.